From all of us at the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria, we would like to wish you a happy and safe holiday season and new year, and thank you for your continued support throughout our first year as the Assembly.
Building on years of tireless advocacy from Aboriginal leaders, and with the input and guidance of our community, we have achieved much since our establishment in December 2019.
Through engaging with community, the Assembly agreed to both local Treaties and a state-wide Treaty. We are also on the pathway to creating the Elders’ Voice, Self-Determination Fund, a Treaty Authority Framework, an Interim Dispute Resolution Process and additional pathways to recognition for Traditional Owners.
We called on the State to deliver two significant, immediate priorities — a Stolen Generations Redress Scheme and a Truth-telling process. The State listened to the voice of Traditional Owners and the Aboriginal community of Victoria, demonstrating the power of our collective voice.
This year’s challenges have placed sharper spotlights on issues that impact our community, including the Black Lives Matter movement and Aboriginal deaths in custody, and the disproportionate impacts of bushfires and a pandemic. This highlights the need for Treaties and the importance of the work that we do.
It is with the guidance and support of our community that we are able to make solid ground towards Treaties — and we cannot thank you enough for continuing to walk this journey with us.
Together with our community, we have much to be proud of and we look forward to continuing our conversations and work towards Treaties in 2021.
Ngun godjin (regards),
Geraldine Atkinson and Marcus Stewart
Co-Chairs First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria